I read a woman’s blog recently that talked about conflict being a good thing. That things do not move forward without conflict and that conflict signals caring. This made me very sad for her, because I know her and know her very tumultuous marriage and how full of conflict it is. But she does have a point, though the view is very skewed.
Conflict can be a positive when there is something very wrong, but someone cares enough to step up and say thing, to say it is wrong, to say this must change because it is wrong. Yes, that is good. But if an entire relationship is built on conflict, that is not love. When the only thing that moves that relationship in a positive direction is conflict, that that is not love. It is not positive either. Conflict does not signal caring or love. It indicates that something is wrong, that someone wants to fix it, and another does not.
In a normal, loving relationship, it should not take conflict to create positive change. It should not be a fight to have your needs met, or to have something that has gone wrong to be corrected. You should be able to talk to your partner, tell them how you feel about whatever the circumstance is, and come to a resolution. There really should not be any conflict at all, no fighting. That is how healthy relationships work.
And more over, you and your partner should be able to engage in enough communication that you are on the same page with the same goals and values. There should be enough peaceful communication that any potential negatives are discussed and taken care of before they become serious issues. If something slips through the cracks, it is discussed and a peaceful resolution is the end result. Also, you do not keep having the same problems over and over. Once you have let your partner know that there is an issue, you work together to solve it, it doesn’t keep coming back up. The behavior changes without conflict. That shows love and passion for each other,
The man I am dating is wonderful, and if there is an issue, one of us simply makes a request of the other. That’s it. It is that simple. No conflict…and it does not mean that there is no caring, love or passion. It is because we have all three, in addition to respect. We are gently with each other. Does that mean that we will never have conflict? No, it just means that conflict and fighting are not what is normal between us.
But she has been married to an emotionally, verbally, physically and mentally abusive, drug-addicted, dead-beat, manipulative man for 25 years; so that is all that knows. That is her normal. And she loves the “energy” that the conflict creates. She loves the Trauma Bond that the conflict has created between them. He behaves badly, there is violent conflict when she objects, and she is reassured that he cares for her. It is a very sick cycle. And that is just one of the ways that constant conflict harms and manipulates the perception of those around it.
I had a crazy boyfriend once, who was very abusive, and our relationship was a constant state of conflict. He was verbally, emotionally, mentally, and eventually very physically abusive. I see many similarities between my friends husband, and this crazy ex of mine. The difference is that I left after the first time he hit me. This woman stayed.
It boils down to this: Love isn’t conflict. Love isn’t someone treating you badly, calling you names, yelling at you, cussing at your, calling you stupid, or especially hitting you. If someone loves you, and you tell them that there is something wrong, something that bothers you, or hurts you, then they change that behavior. Period. It’s that simple. If they don’t change the behavior, even when they know it hurts you, they don’t love you.
Conflict is not love, and constant conflict in a relationship is a huge red flag, not a sign that the other person cares. You have to be selfish enough to know when to leave.
There are only two times in your life you are going to have Peace: When you die, and in your own house.